Church linked to San Jose kidnapping also tied to apparent exorcism death of 3-year-old girl
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The kidnapping and safe recovery of a 3-month-old boy in San Jose made headlines in April. Two people who knew his mother from church were ultimately charged with the crime.
New information has come to light regarding the church. Police were called to the South Bay church in September for a separate incident that involved the death of a 3-year-old girl.
According to court documents, the death occurred at the Iglesia Evangelicas Apostoles y Profetas as family members were trying to rid the girl of an evil spirit.
The church operates out of the back room of a house and often posts its sermons on YouTube.
But the incident in September was a private matter, an exorcism of sorts, that resulted in the death of the little girl.
According to court documents, her mother told police she thought the child was possessed by an evil spirit "because the victim would wake up and scream or cry periodically."
She brought the child to the church where she and two family members, "held the victim around her waist and neck to help her throw up, which she believed would help her get the spirit out."
This went on for about 12 hours, leaving the child with injuries around her eyes, face, neck, and chest.
The medical examiner said ultimately the child died of asphyxia due to suffocation.
Police added, "after the victim died, they did not perform any medical assistance, and they did not call 911."
The mother, Claudia Hernandez was arrested and is being held on charges of felony child abuse.
She denied KTVU's request for an interview.
The San Jose Police Department declined to comment on the case, but said the matter remains under investigation.